March 31st is celebrated in the USA as Bunsen Burner Day, the day of the Bunsen burner. In keeping with this day of honor, we would like to introduce a little more detail to these compact gas burners in our guide and give you tips on what to look out for when buying / using or how to find the right model for your purposes.
Bunsen burners are designed for a variety of applications and therefore have different product characteristics. When buying such a gas burner, be sure to pay attention to the following points:
- Application: If you need the Bunsen burner for cooking and barbecuing, the model should be as flexible as possible. For longer work in the laboratory or workshop, on the other hand, long service life is paramount.
- Temperature or regulation: Some models offer infinite flame regulation – ideal if you want to use them in the kitchen.
Why the Bunsen burner is called Bunsen burner
At first, only a few facts about the namesake of the Bunsen burner. Robert Bunsen was born on March 30, 1811. He was very interested in natural sciences, which was reflected in his extensive selection of subjects: So he studied in addition to chemistry and mineralogy, physics, and mathematics. Later he taught at various universities.
What many do not know: Ironically, the famous and named after him Bunsen burner is not directly from Bunsen itself. The English naturalist Michael Faraday invented him, but Bunsen had developed and improved it – together with the Heidelberg Peter Desaga. He died on August 16, 1899.
How does a Bunsen burner work?
Most people are likely to know the Bunsen burner from their schooldays. It is a small gas burner that is used to heat substances or liquids, and that can be used to reach very high temperatures. Chemistry teachers like to use it for demonstration purposes.
The Bunsen burner is constructed as follows: There is an approximately 15 cm long piece of pipe through which gas flows upwards. The air is regulated by adjustable openings and sucked in according to the principle of a jet pump itself. A grille of beautiful holes at the top of the burner prevents the flame in the heater from being blown back in modern models.
In most cases, propane, butane, natural gas, or a mixture of these is used. The incoming gas is directed into the pipe section, past the inflowing air. In the pipe section, often called mixing pipe, gas and air mix consequently. Using a flame, this mixture burns at the end of the pipe section.
A small wheel can easily regulate the air supply. Depending on the amount of incoming air, two different types of flame arise:
- Glowing flame (orange-yellow colored): with low air supply, has an unusually high temperature, the gas is not entirely burned here. It is also called a diffusion flame.
- Non-luminous flame or rushing flame (bluish-colored): gas is wholly burned, temperatures of up to 1500 ° C can be reached. Also known as premix flame.
By the way, the so-called Teclubrenner works quite similarly. However, since the tube is conical, more gas can be supplied. This, in turn, leads to a higher temperature. Also, the air is first sucked from below.
By the way: gas burners and Bunsen burners do not have to describe the same product. The Bunsen burner is just a form of a gas burner.
What do I need to connect a Bunsen burner to a propane cylinder?
If you want to connect a Bunsen burner to a propane cylinder, you will need the following accessories:
- two hose clamps,
- two connectors with grommets – mostly a 1/4 “LH model,
- a hose,
- a gas regulator with 50 bar for interiors,
- a 50 bar hose rupture protection.
Only with these parts, a safe operation is guaranteed.
Cook and grill with the Bunsen burner
The small gas burner is often used in analytical chemistry preliminaries such as the solder tube test or flame staining. But using the Bunsen burner is also popular outside the lab. For example, he finds an application in experimental cooking. Here, the Bunsen burner is used for heating various dishes. He is also happy to use it for flambéing, such as the famous crème brûlée.
But not only in the kitchen but also on the grill, the gas burner is now a useful utensil. It is essential to cook the vacuum-packed meat as long as possible in a water bath at 52-55 degrees for as long as possible so that the meat juice is preserved. Then it is held over the Bunsen burner for a few seconds with the help of barbecue tongs and thus flamed off. It is essential that between meat and flame, about 5 to 15 cm distance prevail. Then you can enjoy a tender piece of meat.
Tips for safe handling of Bunsen burners
Working with the Bunsen burner can be dangerous – whether you use it in the workshop or for cooking. Therefore, for safe operation, be sure to follow these rules:
- tie long hair with a hairband,
- always keep the head away from the burner,
- always switch off the gas burner completely. Otherwise gas will escape,
- Store cartridge burner above ground level,
- never tilt or shake,
- Also recommended: wearing safety goggles.
Any warning devices against gas or smoke are sometimes even required by law.